Most of Oregon entered fire season early

helicopter over fireNearly all of Oregon’s fire protection districts have entered fire season as of June 26, according to the State Department of Forestry.

They include state, private, county and city forestland, in addition to Bureau of Land Management forestlands in western Oregon. A warmer and drier May prompted early declarations.

“We’ve received a couple shots of rain recently, but that doesn’t make up for the dry spring we’ve experienced this year. The result is that we are a couple weeks ahead of where we traditionally are regarding fuel moisture and fire conditions in the forest,” said Link Smith, a Western Lane District Forester in a release from the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Chris Cline, a district forester for ODF’s South Cascade District based in Springfield, reports that fuel moisture in eastern Lane and southern Linn counties are similar to what they would normally be for the beginning of July.

“We look carefully at local conditions in determining when to declare the start of fire season. What they are telling us is that in our district it is now dry enough for wildfires that do start to have the potential to spread more rapidly,” explained Cline.

To find out what restrictions are in place at any given location, visit www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.